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Aziza: “My health career began 30 years ago and today, I am proud to be a community midwife”

Aziza in a UNICEF-supported training on emergency obstetric care for community midwives at Al Thawra Hospital, in Sana’a.

Sana’a, Yemen, 30 December 2018 – With the rise in violence in the last four years, over half of the health facilities in Yemen have stopped functioning because of partial or complete damages. In addition, the lack of supplies, electricity, fuel and salaries are continuous challenges for health workers to provide basic and vital healthcare to the population.

Aziza Abdulla Al-Hashedi knows this situation very well. She has been a health worker herself since 1985. Aziza is a reproductive health officer in Al-Jafariyah district of Raymah governorate and a community midwife at Al-Hediya health centre.

She recently attended the emergency obstetric care training organized for community midwives by the National Yemeni Midwifery Association, with the help of UNICEF, in the capital city of Sana’a.

During the course, Aziza and other trainees improved their knowledge and skills in early detection of critical birth cases, provision of prenatal and postnatal services and care to pregnant women and neonatal resuscitation.

“I tell the mothers to do regular tests to follow their pregnancy and to pay attention to their health conditions and nutrition.”

Two trainee midwives practicing newborn resuscitation technics during the emergency obstetric care training.

Aziza recognized the importance of developing such skills: “We need to be trained because we live in rural areas where we don’t have access to obstetric emergency centres and specialized doctors”. The lack of resources is not Aziza’s only challenge, she still needs to walk for long distances on abrupt pathways to provide health services to women and make sure they will deliver safely. “We face geographical challenges such as rough roads and scarce means of transportation.”

The community midwife knows that having the right skills to deal with critical birth cases can make a huge difference.

“Before completed this training, I was treating a woman who died while giving birth. I would have taken the necessary procedures if I had the necessary skills at the time to investigate more thoroughly. She lost a lot of blood during the birth and although I helped her to give birth naturally, my colleagues called me two hours later to announce that she passed away. I will never forget that woman and I will never forget this lesson,” she recalls with sorrow.

A mother of eight children, Aziza is a committed community midwife. Despite her obligations at home, she works hard to provide the women of her village with the health care they deserve.

“As a mother, I never give up my duties towards my children, but they understand the importance of my work and they are always supportive. My health career began with a training course organized by the UNICEF and now, after more than 30 years, I am here again attending another UNICEF-supported course,” the midwife explains.

Midwives at the emergency obstetric and newborn care training organized by the local health authorities and UNICEF.

The emergency obstetric care training is one of the several health activities funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre) and the United Arab Emirates in an effort to strengthen the provision and quality of reproductive health services to women and their newborn at the community and household level in Yemen’s rural areas.

From January to October 2018, 428 midwives have been trained in emergency obstetric and newborn care and it is expected that thanks to the empowerment of reproductive health services at community level, more than 134,000 pregnant women will receive neonatal care and 116,000 will deliver with the support of skilled birth attendants.



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